This is one of the most popular questions on the internet by digital marketing professionals especially who are in the start of their career, in fact, it’s a mystery to many of the Google search regular users.
When this question is posed to digital marketers you could hear some or most of the following,
- Too many good backlinks
- To often content update
- Good website design and development practices
- Good brand
- Huge discounts
And many more,
Don’t you think a logic is missing in this? How do the above-mentioned statements make a website rank up on top of search results technically?
Yes, many digital marketers fail at answering this technically/logically although the above-mentioned statements are true/correct.
If a specific website has to be on top of Google SERP it has to be very dominant over the following against its competitors or would have met all of the following criteria’s
- Excellent Crawl stats
- Excellent CTR
- Excellent user experience and usage stats
Along these three, of course, the search engines objectives too have to be served,
Search Engines Objectives
- To serve content to users based on the query typed
- To serve relevant content
- To serve updated content
- To serve genuine content
- To serve original content
- Valuable information
- Showing content from Trusted sources
- Showing the results which can be at ease to explore further
- Useful content to the customers
These are three most prominent factors that all SEO professionals have to focus on and everything else (All other implementations/ complete SEO implementations) is derived out of these main objectives of achieving good crawl, good CTR, and good user metrics.
These are three key signals considered for very high priority by search algorithms to prioritize any website to rank up on top of search results when there are already many similar websites competing with each other.
A simple crawl and index make the website to rank up on search results, but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a top position in SERP.
Here is an explanation on what makes a website to rank up on search results,
- Naturally, search engines crawl most of the websites on the internet if the meta index status is not defined or defined as the index. Searches engines don’t index the website if the meta index status is kept as no-index.
- Natural crawl of websites by search bots might take some time and which would not happen immediately every time
- sometimes search engines would not consider crawling the website on priority
- Industry demand, competition, website performance, content quality and quantity plays a crucial role is crawling of website and index by search engines
- Communicating directly to bots plays a crucial role in crawl and index of website
Explanation on what makes a specific website to rank up on top of SERP
In this section, I am going to discuss in detail about “what makes a specific website to rank up in the top of SERP?”
The crawl can be related to reading a book and index to storing of reading content.
Now if we have to make the bots to read and store the website content on their servers we have to make them crawl our website so that they index it as well.
To understand the considerations better go through the following example,
More the number of times you read better is your understanding and storing of the same and hence there are high chances of you prioritizing answering the questions related to it in the first.
E.G: A student has read a specific chapter (Chapter “a”) several numbers of times compared to any other chapter in the text,
Now there are questions related to the chapter “a”,”b”, “c”, “d” and more in the exam question paper and guess what happens.?
By default with the considerations mentioned above students answers to questions related to the chapter “a” on priority.
Exactly in the same way if the search engines have read a specific website several numbers of times compared to other websites they prioritize and help them to rank up on Google first page.
So, it is clear that more the times bots crawl a website more the importance is given to that specific website to come on to the better positions on Google (SERP), mostly on to the google first page and this doesn’t guarantee the first position until and unless there is a significant progress with other two factors.
Remember crawl frequency gives an opportunity to the website to come on to the Google first page but not first position.
Before we get into the other two factors let’s understand what makes a search bot to crawl website number of times?
Improving the Crawl Stats:
Crawl stats include both crawl frequency and crawl rate
Definition of Crawl frequency:
The number of times Bots visiting the webpage is crawl frequency. The natural crawl usually starts from the Homepage.
Definition of Crawl Rate:
The number of pages crawled by bots during its every visit is the crawl rate, which is measured at the page level. Eg: Bot crawled 200 web pages
Improving the Crawl Frequency
- Incorporating the High volume keyword and scale of the keywords on the webpages/content
- Building quality backlinks from external websites
- Branding Activities
- Lots of New content- Especially covering the medium and low intent keywords
- Improve website performance by reducing the files sizes and improving the load times
- Improves Crawl frequency and Crawl Rate
Improving Crawl Rate:
The number of pages crawled by bots during its every visit is a crawl rate, which is measured at the page level. Eg: Bot crawled 200 web pages
Improving the Crawl Rate:
- Reduce the size of the file
- Compression the files (HTML, JS, CSS & Images)
- Reducing the Script (HTML, CSS & JS)
- Avoid usage of plugins, use only if its unavoidable
- Use the best plugins
- Reduce the load times
- Combine the JSS and CSS files
- Enable the CDN
- Add expiry headers to the files
- Avoid URL redirects
- Reduce Cookie Size
- Improve the internal linking
- Do contextual linking
- Have related products/categories listed on the page
- Use old articles references in the upcoming articles/New articles
- Make sure that all the links under navigation or any part of the page are crawlable
- Implement the breadcrumbs
- Implement HTML Sitemaps
Here is the second most important metric that makes a website to come on to the Google top fold, but this metric doesn’t guarantee to retain the website in the top position.
Improving Click through rate (CTR)
- Maintain good average position of the keywords
- Write catchy titles & meta descriptions
- Brand mention if your brand is well known already
- Focus on low competitive keywords
- Implement rich snippets
Read more and in detail about CTR
The third important metric is the user experience/user metric that retains the website in its top position.
Improving user experience/metrics:
- Optimize for the right keywords
- Understandable Clear and crisp content
- The type of content to be served first
- Right call to actions
- Brilliant Call out statements
- Navigation on the website
- Consider adding right images and videos at the required instances based on your product
- Technically the website performance should be good.
- Page size and load times
- No issues from the technical front on the payments, lead submissions and more.
- Website color contrast
- Theme/layout of the website
- IP and cookie-based content should be served if the content has to change with the user location
- Responsive designs
Read more and in detail about user metrics
- An improved crawl stats give an opportunity for the website to come on to the Google first page
- With the improved crawl search engines remember your website, prioritize your website to show on search result when someone queries for it.
- A good CTR to the website takes the website to the top of the SERP from its initial stage of being in the bottom of SERP just with the good crawl stats
- A good CTR leaves an information to an algorithm that the website is interesting to users and would also be useful to them.
- A great user experience is the one what makes a website to retain in its top position.
- A good user experience leaves an information to the bots/algorithm that the website has served the purpose of the user.
When Google has all these three types of information and is better compared to any other website on Google search results Google understand that this is the most relevant, useful and needed website to the users and hence keep it on the top.